The end is finally near for Internet Explorer, one of Microsoft’s most-reviled products that refused to die.
That last nail in the coffin came after years of flirting with IE’s passing.
For example, in August 2020, Microsoft turned its back on IE for its products. Workplace chat applications Teams stopped working with IE last fall, and its 365 programs (like Office) will no more function on IE from mid-summer 2021.
After the most-used browser, Internet Explorer had been on a steady downward trajectory for nearly two decades. Its share of the browser market fell below the 50% threshold in 2010 and now sits at about 5%, based on browser use tracker NetMarketShare. Google’s (GOOGL) Chrome is the browser pioneer, controlling a 69% share of the market.
In its death announcement, Microsoft said Internet Explorer is slow, no more sensible for or compatible with many modern web tasks, and is less secure than modern browsers.
Nevertheless IE has managed to stick around for 26 decades. Microsoft has continued to ship IE using Windows to make sure that corporate programs keep working properly. Corporations tend to be very slow to adopt new browser versions, particularly if they custom-build applications for them.
Most Windows 10 PC owners probably never noticed that IE is installed in their computers. Edge, Microsoft’s present browser, relies on Google’s open source Chrome code, also has gained a lot more traction than IE in the past couple of decades.
It is unclear if Microsoft will stop installing IE on Windows PCs by default once the organization discontinues support for IE, although that will be likely. Microsoft’s latest version of the Edge browser supports internet apps built for IE so clients do not need to keep switching between browsers.
“We’re announcing the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is at Microsoft Edge,” said Sean Lyndersay, Microsoft’s program manager for Edge. “Not only is Microsoft Edge a quicker, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it’s also able to address an integral concern: compatibility for older, heritage websites and applications.”